Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

Six High-End, Lightweight Titanium Watches

Shedding weight and donning sleek cool looks, these watches use titanium from case to bracelet!

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |

The vast majority of watches are made of stainless steel for very practical reasons. It’s affordable, relatively easy to machine and finish and will last you a lifetime. But, for some, that’s not enough and luckily, there are plenty of alternatives. There is, of course, the option for precious metals such as gold or platinum, or you could go for high-tech carbon fibre or ceramic. But if you want to retain the metallic look and reduce weight in the process, there is only one real option: titanium! Pioneered in the 1970s by brands like Citizen and Porsche Design, it is highly scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic and about 60% lighter than the most common steel alloys. No wonder it is the material of choice in these six high-end luxury watches!

Czapek Antarctique Titanium Dark Sector

The sub-zero cool Antarctique has been a huge success for Czapek, to the extent it had to close the order books at one point. However, that has not slowed down the brand to expand the collection into new territories with this Antarctique Titanium Dark Sector. The clues are in the name, as it is fully executed in titanium and comes with an anthracite sector dial with a twist. The raised rings have small spaces doubling as hour markers! Around the back, you can marvel at the calibre SXH5 with platinum micro-rotor, open bridges and plenty more. It’s worn on an integrated bracelet, is limited to 100 pieces per year and costs CHF 32,000.

Czapek Antarctique Titanium Dark Sector

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Quick Facts – 40.5mm x 10.6mm – grade 5 titanium case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 96 grams – 120m water-resistant – anthracite grey dial with velouté finish – sword-shaped hands with Super-LumiNova – red-tipped central seconds hand – calibre SXH5, in-house – automatic winding with platinum micro-rotor – 193 components – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds – integrated titanium bracelet – 100 pieces per year – CHF 32,000

Zenith Defy Revival Shadow Titanium

The Zenith Defy Revival gave new meaning to the term ‘retro’ as it is a range of extremely faithful re-editions of the famous Defy from the late-1960s. The most contemporary of the series, however, is this Defy Revival Shadow Titanium! The microblasted titanium case and ladder bracelet give it a very tactile look, with a matte black dial to match. The ridged hour markers have been retained, which is one of the coolest elements of the watch. The movement of choice is the automatic Elite calibre 670, made in-house. The watch is part of the permanent collection and retails for CHF 7,700.

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Quick Facts – 37mm x 37mm – octagonal microblasted titanium case – 14-sided bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – 300m water-resistant – matte black dial – applied ridged indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – date window at 04:30 – Elite calibre 670, in-house – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 50h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – microblasted titanium ladder bracelet with folding clasp – non-limited edition – CHF 7,700

IWC Ingenieur Titanium

Plenty has been said about the IWC Ingenieur already, but the fact of the matter is that it looks pretty damn good in titanium! The subdued tones of the lightweight material are carried out throughout the entire watch, including the grid-like patterned dial. Yes, a few corners have been cut, and it is rather pricey, but there’s plenty to love. The movement sits in a soft-iron case, a nod to early Ingenieur models, and the design is obviously inspired by Gerald Genta’s integrated look. This titanium version comes with an integrated titanium bracelet to match (no quick-release system, a pity) and will set you back EUR 15,800.

2023 Genta-Style IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Titanium IW328904

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 10.7mm – grade 5 titanium case, sandblasted – bezel with functional screws – screw-down crown with guards – sapphire crystal front & back – 100m water-resistant – stamped grid-pattern in grey galvanised soft iron dial – black markers and hands with Super-LumiNova – framed date window – IWC calibre 32111, automatic – pawl-winding system – 21 jewels – 28,800vph – 120h power reserve – grade 5 titanium bracelet with concealed clasp – EUR 15,800 (incl. VAT)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Selfwinding Ultra-Thin

The ultra-thin Royal Oak QP in full titanium is one of the best new releases by Audemars Piguet of the year by quite a margin, we’d say. It wears extremely comfortably around the wrist thanks to the very slender 6.3mm build and that fantastic integrated bracelet. This new edition, ref. 26586TI comes with a gorgeous smokey sunray-brushed blue dial with black sub-dials for the QP display. The ultra-thin calibre 5133 can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback and delivers a steady 40 hours of power reserve. Limited to just 200 pieces and priced upon request, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if all of them are long gone already.

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Quick Facts – 41mm x 6.3mm – full titanium case and bezel, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 20m water-resistant – smokey-blue dial with sunburst pattern – black counters – applied white gold indices and hands with luminescent coating – AP calibre 5133, in-house – ultra-thin automatic movement – 256 components – 40h power reserve – hours, minutes, perpetual calendar with date, day, month, leap year, day/night display, moon phase – integrated titanium bracelet – limited to 200 pieces – price upon request

Grand Seiko Spring drive titanium lake suwa SLGA019

There’s no denying the Lake Suwa watches by Grand Seiko are some of the best in the brand’s portfolio, and the same goes for this Spring Drive Titanium Lake Suwa SLGA019. It’s part of the sporty-chic Evolution 9 collection and is made of resilient high-tensity titanium. The case is faceted and brilliantly finished, with a mid-blue wavey dial. The faceted applied markers and hands really pop against the blue base. Movement-wise, you can rely on the Spring Drive Calibre 9RA2, which delivers a full 5 days of power reserve. The three-link bracelet is also done in high-tensity titanium, and the watch will retail for EUR 11,100.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Titanium Lake Suwa SLGA019

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 11.8mm – high-tensity titanium case, brushed & Zaratsu polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 100m water-resistant – medium blue dial with embossed wave pattern – faceted applied indices and hands – applied GS logo – framed date window – calibre 9RA2, in-house – Spring Drive automatic with quartz regulation – 5-day power reserve (120 hours) – ± 0,5 deviation per day – hours, minutes, seconds, date – high-tensity titanium bracelet – EUR 11,100

Rolex Yacht-Master RLX Titanium 226627

When Rolex first introduced a commercial titanium watch, it opted to do so with the gargantuan 50mm Deep Sea Challenge. Luckily, Rolex has recently brought its lightweight RLX Titanium alloy into the Yacht-Master collection, making for a surprisingly toned-down and superlight iteration of the luxury yachting watch. The case is almost entirely brushed, which was quite unexpected. It retains the signature black bezel insert with a timing scale in relief. Inside ticks the Rolex calibre 3235, with a frequency of 28,800vph and 70 hours of running time. It comes on a three-piece titanium bracelet and retails for CHF 13,400.

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Quick Facts – 42mm diameter – RLX titanium monoblock case – bidirectional rotating bezel with 60-minute graduated bezel – sapphire crystal with cyclops – 100m water-resistant – black lacquer dial with applied luminous indices and hands – date window with cyclops at 3′ – Rolex calibre 3235, in-house – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – three-link titanium bracelet with Oysterlock safety clasp – Ref. 226627 – CHF 13,400

11 responses

  1. The case and bracelet finishing of the Yacht Master look horrible. Also, I don’t see how the IWC Ingenieur is high-end. It uses an ETA-based movement. The Czapek Antarctique look cheap. The movement finishing is pretty much non-existence. I don’t see why this website likes this brand.

  2. You are correct of course, and we’ve just updated the article!

  3. The anonymous is wrong about Czapek, obviously. The IWC is not high end, indeed. They just ask too much money. That Zenith isn’t either, and ugly as f…. At least they ask 1/2 what IWC does. There seems to be a particular brushing on that Rolex, true. Knowing them, it’s probably having to do with their mostly automated process. GS have put extra effort into building Ti watches, using novel alloys to achieve very specific characteristics, and perfecting finishing these new materials.

  4. The Grand Seiko wins hands down for style, advanced time keeping movement and price.

  5. @Gabriel If you refer to my comment regarding the movement finishing of the Czapek Antarctique, could you please elaborate? As I see it, the movement finishing is pretty much non-existent. If you see otherwise, could you please explain it?

  6. @Gabriel If you refer to my comment regarding the movement finishing of the Czapek Antarctique is pretty much non-existent, could you explain how I am wrong about it?

  7. This shouldn’t be called a “buying” guide if it includes the Rolex YM Titanium, as nobody will be able to “buy” one….unless they are wealthy or mad enough to spend €50k for one on the grey market

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